Yay! The baby goats arrived safe and sound last weekend. So pleased to introduce you to Luca (pictured above) and Lola:) It's fun to watch Lizzie (their mom) who was born here 2 years ago step into her role as mama. She is attentive, careful and providing wonderful nutrition to her young kids. Feels like spring indeed.
I was reminded once again this past week of the power of seeds as I read, “The Seed Keeper,” by Diane Wilson. The way seeds tell stories of what and who came before us. The way seeds lie and wait and then awaken when the time is right.
It’s seeding time for us. Time to wake up our seeds. To believe that there is life and that plants will grow and a harvest will come.
Do you have any stories about seeds? Do you remember someone in your family that saved seeds?
The Seeds Speak
"We are hungry, but the sleep is upon us.
We are thirsty, but the Mother has instructed us not to wake too early.
We are restless, chafing against this thin membrane,
pushing back against the dark that bids us to lie still,
suspended in a near-death that is not dying.
We hold time in this space, we hold a thread to infinity that reaches to the stars....."
It is no surprise that death and new life are often intermingled.
On December 31, in the waning hours of 2021 our friend Sage came and helped us put our goat matriarch down (euthanize). I have been present at times of death before. I remember sitting vigil with my brother and at his time of passing called out, “I think he died.” At that point his breathes were so far a part and his passing so gradual that the moment of death was very soft. I’ve been witness to the time of death when we have butchered cows. Sometimes it has been a smooth passing and sometimes it has been hard. For Penny it quick. Karin and I held her, reassuring her of our presence and of calm, I began to hum softly (probably more to soothe myself) and then with the final needle her breath stopped immediately. One moment her lungs were inflating and then next there was absolute stillness. It was very final.
Penny came to our farm with her daughter Amy in April of 2019. She was gentle, her eyes conveyed wisdom. She was calm and attentive. Since then she’s birthed 7 more beautiful kids who’ve gone on to other farms at this point. But Penny struggled to maintain health and enough fat on her to make it through the winter. She had a bad bacterial infection in the end.
I am grateful for the ease with which we were able to journey with her in her final journey, and for the accompaniment of Sage and Karin. Thank you to all those that have come to Kingfisher Farm visited her through the years. She was well-loved.
And then the rain stopped
mist rising from sodden earth
sun beams drawing our eyes to glimmering leaves.
and we listened to the stories
houses released from their foundations
toppling into the river
young children rescued by helicopter
and other stories
a feast gifted to those stranded
600 hands damming a pump station
safe houses offered to strangers
about climate change
about supporting local
about coming together
and there were other voices
voices being silenced
water sacred yet poured out
crying to protect our watershed
to protect the rivers
my mind reeled
searching for clarity
"be the change you want to see"
so the saying goes
so we tended the soil
we donated toothpaste
we shared borscht with friends
we wondered about farmers in other countries that might need refuge
we bought seeds
we lit a candle for those who are sitting in the depths of this loss
There are many ways to live and many ways to farm. Here at Kingfisher we try to live responsibly and farm with care for the earth without being dogmatic, knowing that we are all on a journey and our practices will change and grow over time! The word "sustainable" has often been applied to our way of farming. I feel that the minimum standard for sustainability means using methods that allow us to produce healthy crops without damaging our ecosystem and depleting the soil. The "even better" level, to which we aspire, is to leave our land even better than we found it!
To that end we spread lots of compost on our field every year, we use natural amendments to feed soil life and we grow cover crops which we incorporate back into the soil to build organic matter. We never spray synthetic chemicals on our land for the purpose of killing weeds, insects or diseases. We try to minimize soil disturbance and maximize biodiversity by planting a wide variety of vegetable crops in our fields and we see the wider community as allies in joining us to foster an environment of biodiversity that is beautiful, healthy for people, and attractive to all kinds of pollinators and other wild critters!
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